Guide to Redesigning Your Kitchen

Redesigning your kitchen is an exciting project that allows you to create a functional, beautiful space tailored to your needs and style. With proper planning and research, the process can go smoothly and result in your dream kitchen. This comprehensive guide covers key considerations when embarking on a kitchen redesign.

Assessing Your Needs and Goals

Before diving into planning, take time to determine what you hope to achieve in your kitchen redesign. Consider the following:

  • How you use your kitchen now: Make a list of what you like and dislike about your current kitchen. What works well and what doesn’t? Pay attention to your workflow and habits.
  • How you want to use the new kitchen: Do you love to cook and need more prep space and storage? Or is your kitchen mainly for quick meals and snacks?
  • Your lifestyle and household needs: Do you have a large family that often congregates in the kitchen? Need space for kids to do homework? Entertain frequently? Age in place considerations?
  • Your style: What kind of look do you love – modern, farmhouse, traditional, transitional? What colors, textures, materials, and finishes appeal most?
  • Budget: Be realistic about what you can afford. Prioritize upgrades that will get you the most bang for your buck.

Planning and Designing Your New Kitchen

With your goals clarified, now you can start planning and designing your renovated kitchen.

Hire a Kitchen Designer

Work with a professional kitchen designer to turn your vision into a practical layout. They can help you:

  • Maximize workspace and storage.
  • Select materials and products that fit your budget/needs.
  • Ensure proper lighting, ventilation, and plumbing.
  • Blend form and function.

Look for designers experienced in kitchen projects with styles you like. Get referrals and review examples of their work.

Create Floor Plans

Your designer will create floor plans showing:

  • Accurate room dimensions and features like windows, doors, vents.
  • Traffic flow and work zones.
  • Cabinets, appliances, fixtures, furniture layout.
  • Electrical, plumbing needs.
  • Lighting plan.

Review multiple iterations until the layout perfectly suits how you cook, entertain and live.

Choose the Right Materials

The materials and products you select for your new kitchen will bring your design to life visually and functionally. Consider:


  • Material: wood, laminate, thermally fused melamine (MFM), metal
  • Door style: shaker, inset, overlay, flat panel, slab
  • Custom, semi-custom, or stock cabinets
  • Quality door hinges and slides


  • Material: granite, quartz, marble, butcher block, laminate, solid surface
  • Edge styles like eased, beveled, waterfall, bullnose


  • Range, refrigerator, dishwasher – integrate or standalone
  • Microwave, coffee station, warming drawer
  • Budget for high-end appliances if desired

Sinks and Faucets

  • Undermount or apron sink
  • Double bowl or extra deep
  • Bar/prep sink
  • Motion sensor or pull-down faucet


  • Ceramic tile, metal, glass, stone slab
  • Extent of backsplash coverage


  • Hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), concrete
  • High-traffic durability

Get samples of finishes you’re considering to visualize everything together.

Create Your Dream Kitchen Within Budget

Be realistic about your budget and where to splurge vs. save:

  • Prioritize cabinetry and appliances since they are used constantly and harder to replace. Go custom or semi-custom. Choose quality appliances.
  • Use stock cabinets and value appliances in lesser used spaces like pantries, bars, utility rooms.
  • Mix cabinet and countertop materials – pricey natural stone on main counters with laminate in a utility area.
  • Use tile or concrete floors instead of pricier finishes like hardwood.
  • Install backsplashes selectively like behind the range or on the main work surface. Use paint on other walls.
  • DIY where possible – painting cabinets, installing lighting fixtures.
  • Stage the remodel over time to spread costs out on key components first.

Preparing for Your Kitchen Remodel

Once you’ve completed the design phase, now you can prepare for the renovation process.

Create a Project Plan and Timeline

A detailed project plan and timeline will keep your remodel on schedule and budget. Identify all tasks and phases with expected start and end dates. Allow buffers for potential delays. Be sure to include:

  • Demolition
  • Cabinet/countertop ordering and installation
  • New flooring
  • Electrical and plumbing
  • Drywall/painting
  • Delivery dates for new appliances
  • Final cleanup and inspection

Schedule the most dust and noise generating work first, then finish tasks. Plan around your family’s schedule.

Obtain Permits and Approvals

Depending on the extent of changes, you may need permits for electrical, plumbing, gas line work, load-bearing wall removal, ventilation changes, and more. Research permit requirements based on where you live and the scope of your remodel.

Order Products and Materials

Order all cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances and other products well in advance. Confirm lead and delivery times align with your project timeline. Include extra materials to allow for errors and changes.

Create a Temporary Kitchen

You’ll need temporary cooking arrangements while the main kitchen is out of commission. Options include:

  • Installing a compact rental kitchen.
  • Setting up a cooking area in a bar, garage, basement, etc using portable appliances.
  • Planning frequent meals out or getting takeout.

Also have plans for dish washing, food storage and garbage holding.

Carrying Out Your Kitchen Remodel

You’ve done all the prep work, now it’s time to tackle the renovation. Here’s how to execute a smooth kitchen remodel process.

Hire the Right Contractor

An experienced general contractor or kitchen remodel company is key for a successful project. Look for:

  • A proven track record doing high-quality kitchen renovations.
  • Extensive experience with all aspects of the remodel process.
  • A reputation for strong project management and communication.
  • Responsiveness to your needs and concerns.
  • Reliability in completing projects on time and on budget.

Check references and visit previous job sites. Ensure they will pull all required permits.

Demolition: Remove and Prepare the Space

Demolition removes old kitchen components to create a blank canvas. Steps include:

  • Remove cabinets, countertops, sinks, flooring, trim, lighting fixtures.
  • Reroute plumbing and electrical as needed.
  • Address wall, ceiling and floor issues.
  • Prepare subfloor for new surfaces.
  • Protect remaining areas from dust and debris.

Proper demolition is essential for the new kitchen layout.

Install New Cabinets and Countertops

With the kitchen stripped down to the studs, new materials can go in:

  • Cabinets: Ensure leveled, plumb installation secured to studs. Use shims as needed. Attach any fillers, trims or moldings.
  • Countertops: Seam edges for smooth look. Confirm overhangs, support. Connect to backsplash.
  • Sinks/Fixtures: Cut precise openings; seal edges. Confirm fittings operate smoothly.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Update Electrical and Plumbing Components

New kitchen layouts often require moving and updating:

  • Electrical: More outlets, switches, circuits to power appliances. Under/over cabinet lighting.
  • Plumbing: Fixture connections. Drain line adjustments. New shut off valves.
  • Gas: Professionally install and connect any gas appliances.

Hire licensed pros and get inspections done for new electrical/plumbing.

Install Flooring and Finish Trims

Now you can lay the beautiful new flooring and finish trims:

  • Flooring: Prepare the subfloor properly. Lay tile or planks perfectly square. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Trim: Install any new baseboards, window/door casings. Use filler strips and caulk for clean results.
  • Paint: Paint walls, ceiling, trim with a fresh new color. Use high-quality primer and paint.

Pay close attention to prep work for a flawless finished floor.

Add Finishing Touches

Final details take your kitchen remodel from almost complete to fully done:

  • Backsplash: Measure precisely, cut tiles and apply. Grout and seal when dry.
  • Hardware: Attach door/drawer handles and pulls, shelf brackets, towel bars, etc.
  • Lighting: Install pendants, under cabinet lighting. Connect to switches.
  • Accessories: Soap dispensers, clocks, storage racks.

Thoroughly clean the new kitchen and check for any touch ups needed.

Using and Maintaining Your Remodeled Kitchen

With a kitchen redesign, proper use and care will keep it looking fabulous. Follow these tips:

  • Use care with moisture: Quickly wipe up spills, leaks. Repair any dings in surface coatings. Monitor for potential water damage issues.
  • Clean surfaces regularly: Use recommended products for your countertop, flooring, sink materials.
  • Handle cabinets/drawers gently: Don’t strain hinges/tracks. Use knobs and pulls properly.
  • Avoid direct heat exposure: Use trivets and hot pads. Don’t leave appliances on that generate extreme heat.
  • Consider a maintenance contract: For specialty appliances like a gas range. Schedule annual checkups.
  • Touch up finishes: Reseal grout. Recoat worn cabinets. Address minor damage right away.

With regular care and maintenance, your redesigned kitchen will continue providing enjoyment for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Remodels

  1. How much does a kitchen remodel cost? A minor cosmetic refresh may cost $5,000-$15,000, while a full remodel of a medium sized kitchen often runs $20,000-$35,000. High-end luxury kitchen overhauls can exceed $50,000. Cost is affected by the scope of changes, materials used, and local labor rates.
  2. How long does a kitchen remodel take? The timeframe can range from a few weeks for small changes to 4-8 weeks for medium renovations to several months for whole-room gut renovations. Create a project plan and timeline to estimate durations.
  3. Should I do it myself or hire a contractor? For major structural changes, working with gas/electric, or complex installations, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure safety, compliance with codes, and high-quality results. DIY is great for minor updates like painting cabinets or switching out light fixtures.
  4. What permits do I need? Permits are often required for plumbing, electrical/gas line work, ventilation changes, load-bearing wall removal, or additions. Research permit requirements based on the scope of your project and location.
  5. How do I choose new kitchen cabinets? Consider your budget, usage, and style preferences. Custom cabinets offer unlimited options but are costly. Stock cabinets are affordable and come in many styles. Semi-custom splits the difference with some customization.
  6. What are the most popular kitchen remodel trends? Some top trends include open concept layouts, large kitchen islands, high-end appliances, modern cabinet styles, quartz or granite countertops, smart kitchen tech, and sustainable materials.

Key Takeaways

  • Assess how you use your current kitchen and what you want to change to define redesign goals.
  • Work with a kitchen designer to create an optimal layout that suits your needs.
  • Choose materials and finishes that match your budget, design style and durability needs.
  • Develop a detailed project plan and timeline. Arrange for product deliveries and any permits.
  • Hire experienced contractors to complete the renovation professionally.
  • With regular maintenance and care, enjoy your beautifully redesigned kitchen for years!